In this installment of the Friends & Christianity series we are going to look at The One With Two Parts, which actually has two parts. The main story thread that holds the two halves together is that of Phoebe and her twin sister, Ursula. Chandler and Joey meet her at the restaurant where she waitresses. Joey sees a difference between Ursula and Pheebs, and declares his attraction to the former. When they mention meeting up with Ursula, it is clear that Phoebe does not care for her twin sister. Still, Joey asks Pheebs permission to ask out Ursula and, like the superb friend she is, Pheebs grants Joey permission.
Joey: Pheebs? You think it would be okay if I asked out your sister?
Phoebe: Why? Why would you wanna do that? Why?
Joey: So that if we went out on a date, she’d be there.
Phoebe: Well, I mean, I’m not my sister’s, you know, whatever, and uh, I mean, it’s true, we were one egg, once, but you know, we’ve grown apart. So, uh, I don’t know. Why not?
Joey: Cool, thanks.
A second story line with a similar message unfolds in part 2 when Rachel sprains her ankle and has to go to the hospital. Monica takes her and begins to fill out her forms when she realizes Rachel does not have insurance. Rachel begs Monica to allow Rachel to pretend to be her so she can use Monica’s insurance and not have to pay the bill. Monica, very reluctantly, agrees. They two girls, pretending to be each other, are assigned to a room when two handsome doctors come in (one played by George Clooney). When asked, Monica (who is actually Rachel) agrees that she and Rachel (who is actually Monica) will go out on a date with the doctors. Monica (the real one) is upset and doesn’t think Rachel (the real one) made a wise choice. What if the doctors find out who they are and turn them in for insurance fraud?
Rachel: So, he said it was just a sprain, and that was it.
Monica: Uh, you left out the stupid part.
Rachel: Not stupid. The very cute, cute, cute doctors asked us out for tomorrow night, and I said yes.
Monica: I think it’s totally insane, I mean, they work for the hospital. It’s like returning to the scene of the crime. I say we blow off the dates.
Rachel: What? Monica, they are cute, they are doctors, cute doctors, doctors who are cute!
Back to Phoebe and Joey. It is Pheebs’s birthday so, duh, it is also Ursula’s. The friends are throwing a surprise party for Pheebs, and Joey has to choose between attending the party for his friend or taking his new girlfriend, Ursula, to dinner. Unfortunately he chooses Ursula and Pheebs’s feelings are crushed. The backstory to the sisters’ strained relationship is that all Pheebs’s life, Ursula has taken from her and broken the things she takes, including a boyfriend Pheebs had that was also her best friend. After Ursula was done with him, he couldn’t stand being around anything or anyone that reminded him of her. So, understandably, Pheebs is worried about losing her friend, Joey. The other friends urge Pheebs to tell Joey how she feels; she goes to his apartment and is greeted by Ursula who is wearing nothing but his shirt.
Phoebe: Oh, oh, oh! This is so great! Oh my god! This was not at all scary. Hi everybody. Hi Betty! Betty, hi! You found Betty! Oh my god! This is great. Everybody I love is in the same room. Where’s Joey?
Chandler: Did you see Betty?
The doctors arrive for their dates and Monica and Rachel invite them in. Rachel (the real one) wants to tell the doctors who they are, but Monica disagrees. Rachel tells Monica she is turning into her mother, and the gloves are off. The girls launch into a war of words, insulting each other and embarrassing themselves…
Monica: (laughing hysterically) Oh, God, I am so spoiled. That’s it.
Rachel: And by the way, have I mentioned that back in high school, I was a cow.
Monica: I used to wet my bed.
Rachel: I use my breasts to get other people’s attention.
Monica: We both do that.
Joey reveals to his friends that Ursula hasn’t answered his calls in two days, and he’s really beat up about it. Pheebs, though she is hurt by Joey not coming to her party, sets that aside and goes to confront her sister. What she finds out she knows will hurt Joey—Ursula has no intention of ever speaking to Joey again, not even to let him know it is over. So Pheebs, selfless and loving as she is, pretends to be her sister and ends things with Joey so that he’ll have closure. And the best part is what she learns about the strength of her friendship with Joey, a strength she had doubted the day of her birthday…
Joey: Why? Is it because I’m friends with Phoebe?
Phoebe: If it was, would you stop hanging out with her?
Joey: No. No, I, I couldn’t do that.
Phoebe: Um, then yes, it’s because of Phoebe. So, you know, it’s either her or me.
Joey: Then I’m sorry.
Phoebe: You know, you’re gonna be really, really hard to get over.
Joey: I know. I don’t know whether it’s just ’cause we’re breakin’ up or what, but you have never looked so beautiful.
[Joey kisses Pheebs, and then walks away, then looks back at her studiously]
Back to Monica and Rachel one last time before we get to the biblical part. They get a phone call from the hospital saying there is something wrong with the paperwork. Both are terrified for a moment before they realize the only issue is a missing signature. Rachel apologizes to Monica, saying Monica was right. They shouldn’t have lied. And Monica apologizes for the things she said. Rachel does the same. Both girls go down to the hospital and make things right, re-doing the paperwork, and paying the bill by check.
Monica: You just called a little while ago about needing a signature on an admissions form. Well, it turns out we need a whole new one because uh, you see, I, I put the wrong name again. ‘Cause um…
Nurse: You’re that stupid.
Monica: I am. I’m that stupid.
Rachel: And I’m just gonna pay for this with a check.
Nurse: You know your insurance will cover that.
Rachel: I know. I’m just not that bright either.
Like I said earlier, both of these story lines echo the same biblical lesson:
In relationships there will be disagreements, hurt feelings, heart ache. But it is much better to fight with a friend (and come back together) than to have fake friends (enemies) who never hurt your feelings or vice versa. Friendship is a battle (as is any long-term relationship), but it is a fight worth fighting because in the end there is love.
Find friends and love them as our favorite Friends loved each other, as Christ loves us, sticking with us to the very end.